Jump Lists are a new feature in Windows 7. They allow a user to see recently opened files when right-clicking a program icon on the taskbar. They allow for the fast opening of heavily used programs. However, it comes at a cost to privacy, since it is easy for someone passing by an unattended PC to right-click on a program icon in the Taskbar, such as Excel, and seeing recently opened spreadsheets. With one click, they can open and view confidential financial data. To prevent this, you can instruct Windows 7 to disable this feature. To do so:
- Right-click on the Taskbar, then click properties in the resulting pop-up.
- On the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties box, click the Start Menu tab.
- Uncheck “Store and display recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar” (i.e. the second check box).
- If you also wish to clear the frequently used programs list in the Start menu, you may also uncheck “Store and display recently opened programs in the Start menu” (i.e. the first check box)
An alternate way to accomplish the above is to click the Customize button in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties box opening the Customize Start Menu box and set both values in the Start menu size section to 0.
Using the above techniques, you can increase your privacy by making it more difficult for people to easily view your confidential files.